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What Are the Best Piano Books for Beginners?

Updated on April 17, 2009

What are the Best Piano Books for Beginners?

This is a questions that is constantly being looked at again and again by piano teachers everywhere.

And it's a very important one to answer. Why?

Because good piano books for beginners can be the difference between a child sticking with piano or quitting.

In my opinion, piano books for beginners have to make piano fun and interesting. They cannot be overly challenging but they also cannot move so slow that beginners lose interest. I also believe that the best piano books for beginners should have interesting pieces that are appropriate for the age of the student.

Below I've explained why I like the books that I choose to use for my students.

Hope it's helpful!

In My Opinion: The Best Piano Books for Beginners

This is my favorite set. Nancy and Randall Faber have done a great job at introducing the most important concepts for a beginner to learn.

I love how they begin the student right away at thinking about arm weight and the concepts of good touch.

I think that they have organized the material in a very logical and progressive way. I have never had a problem with one my students not being able to understand the progression of concepts introduced.

The above reasons are all why I think these are the best piano books for beginners. However, I also like the songs themselves generally and so do my students. The words and clever and have cute captions to go along with them.

Nancy and Randall Faber make it easy for teachers to supplement other ideas along with their books, all while keeping the students feel like they know what is coming next (always a good feeling for the student).

Piano Adventures: Lesson Book Primer Level (Piano Adventures Library)
Piano Adventures: Lesson Book Primer Level (Piano Adventures Library)

If you're only going to get one book, this is the one to get. The Lesson Book has some of the best songs as well as instructions on posture, hand position, and basic theory.

 
Piano Adventures Gold Star Performance, Primer Level
Piano Adventures Gold Star Performance, Primer Level

I prefer the Gold Star Performance to the regular Performance Book because I like the songs in this one better. It goes at a quicker pace but that is easily adjusted by your teacher.

 
Piano Adventures: Technique and Artistry Book, Primer Level
Piano Adventures: Technique and Artistry Book, Primer Level

This book has lot of good drills for working on the correct hand position, finger independence drills, moving from one hand position to the next, etc.

 
Piano Adventures: Theory Book Primer Level (Piano Adventures Library)
Piano Adventures: Theory Book Primer Level (Piano Adventures Library)

This book does a great job at introducing theory in a fun way. They also order the concepts very well so that nothing is confusing or difficult.

 

Never Too Early to Start!

Never Too Early to Start!
Never Too Early to Start!

The Best Piano Books for Beginners: Adults!

So you want to start piano as an adult?

Not a problem! The Alfred Books are great for adult beginners.

You still get all of the quality of the Alfred Books but not all that frilly stuff that makes you feel like an eight year old.

The concepts move much more quickly since it take adult a lot less time to understand them.

However, the training of making the head/arms/fingers move together the way you want will still take you some time and Alfred does a good job of moving slowly enough to let you do so.

All in all, I think that these are the best piano books for beginners for adults looking to learn to play the piano.

Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course: Lesson Book, Level One
Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course: Lesson Book, Level One

This has all of the information on hand/body positioning as well as all of the pieces that you will play. The songs are much more suited to the adult piano beginner.

 
Alfred's Basic Adult Theory Piano Book, Level 3
Alfred's Basic Adult Theory Piano Book, Level 3

This book goes at a good pace for an adult piano beginner. The concepts are explained well and are not belabored.

 

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Best Piano Books for Beginners: Special Occasions

Let me guess, one of the reasons you want your children (or yourself) to learn to play the piano is because you want them to be able to play for special occasions...Christmas, Weddings, holidays.

Well, you're in luck because a lot of the well-respected piano method books have comes out with wonderful collections of the best piano books for beginners for special occasions.

I still INCREDIBLY STRONGLY suggest that you get all of the piano books for beginners above (young beginner or adult) if you are at all interested in having your child play the piano well. You cannot expect to get these and have a teacher teach them for these books. Make sure that they know the basics before you have them playing for special occasions.

That being said, these are the often the cutest songs and are great to hear around the holidays...especially if it's a beginner having fun with them!

Alfred's Basic Adult All-in-One Christmas Piano, Bk 2 (Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course)
Alfred's Basic Adult All-in-One Christmas Piano, Bk 2 (Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course)

This is a good one of the adult beginner. You will be able to approach these piano pieces in a short while. Don't be shy though!

 
Alfred's Basic Piano Library Merry Christmas Level One 1 ; with Duets
Alfred's Basic Piano Library Merry Christmas Level One 1 ; with Duets

This book has very cute songs and the duets are wonderful. These are so much fun to play for the holidays.

 
Piano Adventures: Christmas Book, Primer Level
Piano Adventures: Christmas Book, Primer Level

This books is best for the youngest beginner. Great, fun pieces that get them really excited for the Christmas season.

 
Piano Adventures Christmas Book, Level 1
Piano Adventures Christmas Book, Level 1

This one is best for the slightly older beginner (after 10 years olds). The songs are slightly more challenging and go at a faster pace. Still very cute.

 

Successful Pianists

A Good, Involved Teacher + Exteremly involved parents + Good Quality instructional Books = Successful Pianists

Child Prodigies

It's sort of a hobby of mine to search YouTube videos to find amazing videos of child prodigies.

While that term may be overused, it's still really fun to see what some children are capable of.

What it really comes down to very often, I believe, is an amazing teacher. Here's where parents can have a huge influence!

Where to Buy a Piano

The best way to buy a piano is to go to a music store that sells them and actually play it before you buy one. If you aren't sure what to looks for, ask someone who plays piano to come along and give you their opinion. The people selling the pianos are usually honest but just in case, it's best to get an outside opinion (ei: one not getting a commission for the sold piano).

Even if you don't play piano, it is good to try it yourself. Play around on it and listen carefully to the sound; do you like it? Do you enjoy the ones that sound more mellow and thick, or do you like the ones that have a clear, sharper sound? There's really no correct answer to this so go with what you will want to listen to for a long time.

For more information on, go to my lens on what to looks for when buying a piano

Online Piano Lessons: No Hassle Learning

Not interested in getting a piano teacher?

Don't want to buy piano books?

Can't afford piano lessons right now but want to start?

Online piano lessons are becoming more and more popular as technology becomes increasingly better and higher quality.

You can get relatively inexpensive piano lessons with instructional videos and music.

Online Piano Lessons from the most popular online teaching site.

To me, the piano in itself is an orchestra. --Cecil Taylor

What Do YOU Think are the Best Piano Books for Beginners?

This is something that piano teachers get together and argue about all the time. What are the best piano books for beginners?!

Here's the usual debate:

Faber & Faber vs. Alfred.

What, in your experience, has been the better method book?

Which piano method do you prefer: Faber & Faber or the Alfred books?

Like this lens? Don't like it?

Let me know what you think!

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    • Snakesmum profile image

      Jean DAndrea 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      I'm a retiree, and I'm still deciding whether or not to learn piano! Probably, I'm too old to start. :-)

    • suepogson profile image

      suepogson 4 years ago

      I agree with your choices - nice lens. Thanks

    • readty7 profile image

      readty7 4 years ago

      Your lens is very good and it has useful information

    • readty7 profile image

      readty7 4 years ago

      Your lens is very good and it has useful information

    • jpmantil profile image

      jpmantil 4 years ago

      Great Lens! very informative. A collection of books that I find very good because ithey introduce contemporary harmony and folk music simultaneously is Bartok's Mikrokosmos. I might write a Lens about them!

    • profile image

      Zienna1 4 years ago

      I started six months ago as an adult learner and the book were good. Imagine how at 40's learning it for the first time? Good book such as these are a-must-have.

    • profile image

      CristianStan 4 years ago

      These books are really good for beginners, I am a pianist myself and these will definitely help you

    • profile image

      CristianStan 4 years ago

      These books are really good for beginners, I am a pianist myself and these will definitely help you

    • profile image

      EmmaBTom 4 years ago

      I agree, this question seems to come up again and again. I think a lot of it really depends on the student. Some texts move faster than others and naturally work better for older students. At my job we've found teachers use a pretty wide range of materials, but the most frequently used are Faber & Faber, Bastien, and Alfred. If you'd like to check out their explanations, you can find them on our website at musikalessons.com under "News".

    • JeffGilbert profile image

      JeffGilbert 4 years ago

      Whatever happened to John Thompson books?? :) Just kidding. Anyway, this is a very nice lens a good intro for someone interested in playing the piano... :)

    • opatoday profile image

      opatoday 4 years ago

      Great Lens thanks for sharing

    • Baddew Fibes profile image

      Baddew Fibes 4 years ago

      Lovely selection. I've been a piano teacher for 15 years and think the Alfred courses are fantastic. Happy New Year!

    • dawnsnewbeginning profile image

      dawnsnewbeginning 4 years ago

      Interesting lens.

    • GeekGirl1 profile image

      GeekGirl1 4 years ago

      great selection on piano books for beginners. great lens

    • profile image

      JuanADasilva 4 years ago

      I like this. Good information on what kinda books can be useful. I'm tryna learn piano right now

    • uneasywriter lm profile image

      uneasywriter lm 4 years ago

      Great books for beginners! I would really like to see a method on building a stronger left hand piano method for medium level players.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      those books are very useful thanks for sharing

    • Johanna Eisler profile image

      Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

      It's been many years since I have taught piano. I really appreciate your input about today's good beginners' books for either children or adults. Thank you so much!

    • profile image

      dwgarber4202 5 years ago

      Loved the Alfred books growing up but also used Faber from time to time.

    • tslizzy profile image

      tslizzy 5 years ago

      thanks for the information.

    • profile image

      sarsour243 5 years ago

      I have a lens about learning piano go and check it out http://www.squidoo.com/piano2 and i hope you like it .

    • profile image

      PianoCrumbs 5 years ago

      For popular songs I go to play online,- http://pianocrumbs.com

    • profile image

      joshuarosspiano 5 years ago

      Music tree is also another good method, has a ton of images.

      Josh-Web Piano Teacher

    • profile image

      joshuarosspiano 5 years ago

      great info, i personally use piano adventures when teaching my students! Regards.

      Josh- http://www.easypianotes.com/

    • SpicyCabbage profile image

      SpicyCabbage 5 years ago

      Nice lens. Thanks for the information.

    • MBurgess profile image

      Maria Burgess 5 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      Good topic! Music is very important to young minds and active older ones! =) Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      brynimagire 5 years ago

      Nice learning information ! Fantastic lens ! Thanks.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      When i was a kids, my mother bought me a little piano.First i hate his "noise", but after i learned how to play i love piano!

    • GOT LM profile image

      GOT LM 5 years ago

      Nice selections

    • chrisssy profile image

      chrisssy 5 years ago

      Great lens. Piano was once my passion, too but I gave it up. Would love to turn back and teach or even just play again some day

    • sherridan profile image

      sherridan 5 years ago

      My teenage kids just enjoy playing songs of their choice. The teacher simply teaches the scales and chords needed for that piece and they are improving, and learning, while remaining motivated, because they are challenged and playing real modern popular music which they like. They learn about song structure and composition, and laugh and have lots of fun.

    • profile image

      DollarTycoon 5 years ago

      Great Lens. I'm self taught but lessons would have been a boost.

    • AlphaChic profile image

      AlphaChic 5 years ago

      I like your lens. I took piano lessons as a child and really enjoyed, but. since I never practiced, I didn't get the most out of them that I could have. I've been wanting to get back into it, and I probably need a beginner book, since my fingers have lost their "touch." I enjoyed reading about the different books.

    • profile image

      Edutopia 5 years ago

      Great lens, my girlfriend used to take piano lessons when she was little and has been looking to get back into it. This lens is a great help.

    • ronberry lm profile image

      ronberry lm 5 years ago

      Hi Alex_D - I wish I had someone like you around back when I was trying to learn. I got frustrated and foolishly quit taking the lessons. Your insight is a huge boost for your students. You've done a terrific job on the lens.

    • profile image

      jimmyworldstar 5 years ago

      Great lens, what alternatives would you suggest to a piano if it can't fit in your house or room?

    • profile image

      MagooDancer19 5 years ago

      Wow! Awesome lens! I own one of those books and they are very helpful. I love playing piano. Thanks for sharing, I might try those other ones out.

    • nyclittleitaly profile image

      nyclittleitaly 5 years ago

      again great lens

    • profile image

      junkguyshouston1 5 years ago

      I started to play keyboard two months ago and still on the process of learning. Playing piano is exciting and fun.

    • jc91583 profile image

      jc91583 5 years ago

      I have been playing drums since the age of 9. Music has had such a big impact on my life. You are absolutely right about the beginning material being important to keeping a kid interested. I loved the lens. Great job!

    • PositiveChristi1 profile image

      PositiveChristi1 5 years ago

      Very nice lens.

      Angel blessed.

    • aviwolfson profile image

      Avi Wolfson 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      This was a great read. Thank you for sharing this information.

    • tonyb65 profile image

      tonyb65 5 years ago

      Great lens, I play organ and keyboards. Music is for everyone and whatever level you play there can be much enjoyment and a sense of achievement. I have put up a keyboard lens and an accordion lens.

      To anyone reading your lens I say go on, have a go.

    • whodiesinthenew profile image

      whodiesinthenew 5 years ago

      Maybe I should start learning to play piano?

    • profile image

      a14789632 5 years ago

      åç»å¤æ Mac

      HD åç»å¤æ Mac

      MP4 å¤æ Mac

      AVI DVDå¤æ Mac

      MP4 DVDå¤æ Mac

      MPEG DVDå¤æ Mac

    • waterlily78 profile image

      waterlily78 5 years ago

      Nice lens! I play the piano, but only "by ear", as I never learned to read music. I'd like to learn!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      going to have my daughter look at this lens, she's a beginner on the piano. 'thumbs up' from me to you.

    • profile image

      TheEssentialVoice 5 years ago

      Great ideas for setting up a lens thx

    • adamfrench profile image

      adamfrench 5 years ago

      Impressive lens, thumbs up

    • profile image

      pierrecohenmusic 5 years ago

      nice lens! will you like mine?

    • cocomoonbeams profile image

      cocomoonbeams 6 years ago

      Nice lens... I want to teach my daughter piano and realized I actually already have many of the books you recommend!

    • collierlewisjew profile image

      collierlewisjew 6 years ago

      really like this lens!! SO much useful content!

    • profile image

      NidhiRajat 6 years ago

      amazing lens,.....congrats a ton!!!

    • profile image

      Mosoma 6 years ago

      Thank you for this beautiful lens.

    • profile image

      LogicalNonsense 6 years ago

      Starting to teach myself piano. Thanks for making this lens!

    • SilmarwenLinwelin profile image

      SilmarwenLinwelin 6 years ago

      I played the piano for 10 years or so, but then I went to the university and I didn't have the time (or the piano) to play anymore. Many times I think about refreshing my musical knowledge and skills, but I always postpone it. Great lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I love your lens - you know what you are talking about. I am still somewhat new in the music world, and on Squidoo. The reason I actually joined to start with was to create a music lens on here that would enhance my website: http://www.howtoplaykeyboardonline.com , so I did! Keep up the good work! It must be worth it! Ruth

    • Marigold Tortelli profile image

      Marigold Tortelli 6 years ago

      This has some great suggestions for resources. Thanks!

    • profile image

      opusmusic 6 years ago

      Good post about music books! I am also an author of several music articles and like seeing similar minded people!

    • AngelDey profile image

      AngelDey 6 years ago

      This is very helpful. I bought my son a keyboard and was hoping to find something to get him started. Thank you.

    • cwkerns lm profile image

      cwkerns lm 6 years ago

      Great job. Very informative lens.

    • pedalboards profile image

      pedalboards 6 years ago

      Cool lens. As a long-time guitarist and an adult beginner on piano, I find it best to pick a simple song that I like and try to learn the techniques through it, or else I lose interest fast.

    • profile image

      yusuff2011 6 years ago

      Nice squidoo!

    • profile image

      FarmerTom 6 years ago

      Thanks for including books for adult beginners.

    • profile image

      fulltimehockeymom 6 years ago

      Learning piano is one of the greatest things I did as a kid. Just give it a little patience and you will be greatly rewarded!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Great job on your lens!

    • profile image

      bensid02 6 years ago

      Great information, I am a piano teacher and tuner. Keep up the good work, I can be reached at http://pittsburgh-piano-tuning.com if you want to talk more.

    • Iulian LM profile image

      Iulian LM 6 years ago

      Very informative lens! Good job

    • lbos114 profile image

      lbos114 6 years ago

      Piano is definitely the first instrument I want to learn! little man the pianist ohh if i could be that good one day lol Great lens

    • profile image

      leansmasterpranav 6 years ago

      Very good lens

    • profile image

      Lasanop 6 years ago

      Write something about http://drunk-piano.com please

    • profile image

      Lasanop 6 years ago

      Write something about drunk piano please

    • profile image

      bcblazer 6 years ago

      I also found your lens interesting. I don't know if you would be interested, but we have a simple teach yourself piano method that has been developed from decades of teaching students to play. We would love to hear your thoughts on the book.

      You can find more information at our website: http://www.johnhansonpianomethod.com

    • JaySing profile image

      JaySing 6 years ago

      Very good lens - great resource - thanks.

      Put you on my lens roll

      https://hubpages.com/entertainment/can_anyone_lear

    • profile image

      Zech1112 6 years ago

      I have a yamaha cp33 and I hope that I can learn the piano. I think these books will really help me out.

    • profile image

      miggyjoe 6 years ago

      If you buy these books, check out this lens to help you utilize them! :)

      http://www.squidoo.com/piano-guide-for-beginners

    • profile image

      sig2k30 6 years ago

      Very nice lens. I will started learn playing piano

    • profile image

      Annamadagan 6 years ago

      I like it. I want to learn how to play the piano.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I like your lens, I want to learn to play the panio but do not have money. great job on your lens.

    • profile image

      Zech1112 6 years ago

      Very nice lense I started playing the piano three years ago and I bought some of these books. I found a very good book that showed all the piano chords for beginners and that one really helped me.

    • LizMac60 profile image

      Liz Mackay 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Great lens on piano books. I'm lenrolling you to my learning piano for adults. I'm also giving you a squid angel blessing and featuring you on, Me?!! A Squid Angel.

    • Bluesssman profile image

      Bluesssman 6 years ago

      Very nice lens. I started playing piano two years ago and just love it!

    • InnaTsv profile image

      InnaTsv 6 years ago

      I've been teaching children myself, and i find this selection extremely useful!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I love this lens, I am planning to learn the panio, when I have the money that is. Great lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Glad I found you. My son started taking piano lessons two months ago. Have not heard of most of this so I may bring it up to his teacher to get her opinion.

    • Nightowl John profile image

      Nightowl John 6 years ago

      Very nice compilation. We even have some of those books around our house!

    • profile image

      tonyboy 6 years ago

      Learning how to play the piano these days is very easy! Thanks to online guides that can help you in learning and playing piano chords and this lens of yours gave ideas on how! I love this lens! Thanks for sharing!

    • trotter2099 lm profile image

      trotter2099 lm 6 years ago

      Some axcellent advice here and a well laid out lens. congratz

    • profile image

      John-Carter 6 years ago

      Very useful lens, those books are very important to learn to play piano. But I think it's hard to self learn, why not try to ask a friend or enroll in a piano lesson to understand the book and learn fast.

    • profile image

      pianoguy1 6 years ago

      Where is a good book to learn piano by ear ?

    • profile image

      pianoguy1 7 years ago

      Very nice lense these books look great to learn to play piano

    • profile image

      Zech1112 7 years ago

      Nice lense I have been lookin for the best piano lessons for beginners.

    • profile image

      Barriee 7 years ago

      If you want to learn to play piano, it's important I think to have several resources. This includes piano books as well as some excellent online resources. Good work.

    • profile image

      Barrie321 7 years ago

      Although there are a lot of online courses for those who want to learn piano

      there is a need for piano books also, especially for beginners. Thank you for the information

    • profile image

      PianoLesson 7 years ago

      Great lens... I do think that it is possible to start out on ones piano playing adventure by using a home study course or audio visual guide. I find that a lot of students will progress much more quickly this way and will be less likely to give up in the early stages. Once hooked then the majority of people who start this way will then move on to seek professional teachers to fine tune their playing and to advance further.

      Try the Learn Piano web site for a complete review of all the best audio visual piano courses available for download.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Interesting lens. My daughter is learning the piano, and doing well, but we don't have any piano books!

      Reading your lens has given me lots of information and ideas to take away with me.

      Thank you.

    • profile image

      FunnyPOD 7 years ago

      Good work. Learn to play the piano as a beginner

      http://www.funny-pod.com/index_files/Page841.htm

    • profile image

      kevin_costy 7 years ago

      Nice work! Find the 5 secrets why you should learn piano right here

    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 7 years ago

      Like this lens a lot! I have always wanted to learn playing the piano but I am embarrassed with my age. I don't think I'll be able to concentrate and learn if my classmates would be as young as my children. Might as well read and study the primers you have featured. 5*

      Hope you could visit my lenses and this fb page. Thanks

    • profile image

      Your-Evolution 8 years ago

      Great post what about the piano for dummies is that a good book?